Rheinmetall to Supply Autonomous Ground Vehicle Deployment in Japan with Multimillion-Dollar Contract

Rheinmetall has been selected by the Japanese Ministry of Defence to introduce a fleet of autonomous Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) to Japan. The contract involves the delivery of Rheinmetall’s Mission Master SP UGVs, with the first units expected for testing early next year.

Image: Rheinmetall.

This fleet of electric UGVs, notable for their compact size and low-signature design, will be equipped with various payload modules tailored for cargo transport, surveillance, and remote-controlled weapon stations. Additionally, the contract encompasses a comprehensive support and training program along with spare parts provision.

The delivery and local support for the Mission Master SP UGVs will be managed in collaboration with Marubeni Aerospace, a Japanese business conglomerate, ensuring that the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force benefits from local expertise and Rheinmetall’s advanced technology.

About the Rheinmetall Mission Master SP

Developed by Rheinmetall Canada in 2017, the Mission Master SP is a fully electric UGV designed to autonomously execute a variety of missions including resupply, surveillance, and light payload carriage. Its capability to be air-dropped or towed, coupled with track fittings for enhanced mobility in challenging terrains like deep snow and mud, makes it particularly suited for countries experiencing extreme weather conditions, such as Japan.

Having been deployed in live military exercises by several land forces, including those of Germany, the United States, the Netherlands, and Poland, the Mission Master SP has demonstrated its robustness and versatility. Its adoption by various NATO partners underscores its strategic importance in modern military operations.

Innovating for the Modern Battlefield with Autonomous Solutions

At the core of the Mission Master family, including the SP variant, is Rheinmetall PATH – an AI-driven navigation system. This technology suite, equipped with advanced sensors and perception algorithms, enables the Mission Master vehicles to autonomously navigate through even the most challenging environments.

Pietro Mazzei, President and CEO at Rheinmetall Canada, highlighted the growing global demand for autonomous solutions in defense. “With rising international tensions, nations are increasingly turning to autonomous technologies to secure a strategic edge. Our Mission Master vehicles, powered by the PATH A-kit, have showcased exceptional performance in international trials, solidifying our position as a global leader in UGV technology.”